Indian Short Films Aimed at Increasing HIV/AIDS Awareness To Be Shown To Lawmakers, Released on YouTube
Four 18-minute films made by Indian film industry Bollywood that aim to increase HIV/AIDS awareness in the country will be shown to Indian lawmakers on World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, Reuters reports. The films in February also will be released on the video-sharing Web site YouTube after airing on local television, according to Reuters (Tharakan, Reuters, 11/29).
Four Indian filmmakers -- Mira Nair, Santosh Sivan, Farhan Akhtar and Vishal Bhardwaj -- collaborated on the project, which is called AIDS Jaggo and is part of Mirabai Films. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded the films as part of its Indian HIV/AIDS initiative, called Avahan. The films will be linked permanently to full-length films shown at Indian cinemas and international film festivals (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/24).
According to Reuters, the films, which feature well-known Bollywood actors, were shown this week for the first time at the 38th International Film Festival of India in Goa, India. Producer Shernaz Italia, who worked on the project, said she hopes to collaborate with cinemas to host special screenings of the films to students. She added that nongovernmental organizations will be permitted to make copies of the films.
One of the films, "Blood Brothers," features a young man whose life is affected when he learns he is HIV-positive. Another film, "Positive," shows a family coping when the father is in the last stages of the disease. The other films -- "Migration" and "Prarambha," which means beginning in Kannada -- discuss how the disease affects different social classes, as well as how HIV-positive people are treated in Indian society (Reuters, 11/29).